The Identity Development of LGBTQ Millennial College Students
CNSA 510 Introduction to Student Development TheoryThe Identity Development ofLGBTQ College Students P. Max Quinn – December 5, 2011
Coming Out Stars The Identity Development of LGBTQ College Students
INTRODUCTION THERE IS MUCH NEED TO BRING SEXUALIDENTITY DEVELOPMENT TO THE ATTENTION OF HETEROSEXUALS… THIS WILL HELP TO CLARIFY IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF SEXUALITY, AS WELL AS THE‘PRIVILEGE’ HETEROSEXUALS HAVE IN OUR SOCIETY . The Identity Development of LGBTQ College Students
Foundational Concepts of Research:Sex, Gender and Gender Identity in Student Affairs Practice 6 interactive factors that influence the development of sexual identity: 1. Biology, physical maturation; 1. Micro-social context, values and attitudes held by significant others; 1. Gender Norms and socialization; 1. Culture, place and time; 1. Religious orientation, extent to which one adheres to a fundamentalist belief system and the importance of religion in one’s life; 1. Systematic Homonegativity, sexual prejudice, and privilege: The discrimination and negativity targeted at GLBT folks, and the benefits society awards heterosexuals
Psychological Theories - Internal changes, such as growing self-awareness, formation of a gay/lesbian/bisexual self-image, and personal decisions aboutThe Identity Development of LGBTQ College Students identity management Gender identity does not determine sexual orientation. No single model exists of identifying gender identity of college students. Sociological Theories - Focus on the impact of community, development of social roles, and managing stigma, or on the coming out process Masculinity and femininity are not reliable predictors of an individual’s gender identity.
Vivienne Cass’s MODEL OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION IDENTITY FORMATION (1979) (REVISED IN 1996)PRE-STAGE 1: PERCEIVE THEMSELVES AS HETEROSEXUAL AND RECOGNIZE THIS AS A PREFERRED STATE OF BEING STAGE 1: IDENTITY CONFUSION – THIS STAGE BEGINS WITH INDIVIDUALS’ FIRST AWARENESS THAT THEIR BEHAVIOR OR FEELINGS COULD BE LABELED AS GAY OR LESBIAN. STAGE 2: IDENTITY COMPARISON – MOVEMENT FROM STAGE 1 TO STAGE 2 OCCURS ONCE INDIVIDUALS HAVE ACCEPTED THE POSSIBILITY THAT THEY MIGHT BE GAY OR LESBIAN. STAGE 3: IDENTITY TOLERANCE – INDIVIDUALS ENTERING STAGE 3 HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THEY ARE PROBABLY GAY OR LESBIAN AND SEEK OUT OTHER GAY AND LESBIAN PEOPLE TO REDUCE THEIR FEELINGS OF ISOLATION. STAGE 4: IDENTITY ACCEPTANCE – ALTHOUGH ONE’ SELF-PERCEPTION IS CLEARLY GAY OR LESBIAN, AT THIS STAGE THE PERSON’S “INNER SENSE OF SELF IS STILL TENUOUS”.STAGE 5: IDENTITY PRIDE –IN THIS STAGE, INDIVIDUALS FOCUS ON GAY ISSUES AND ACTIVITIES AND MINIMIZE CONTACT WITH HETEROSEXUALS.STAGE 6: IDENTITY SYNTHESIS –GAY/LESBIAN AND HETEROSEXUAL WORLDS ARE LESS DICHOTOMIZED, AND INDIVIDUALS JUDGE OTHERS ON THEBASIS OF THEIR PERSONAL QUALITIES RATHER THAN SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THEIR SEXUAL IDENTITY.
Sex Typing / Gender Schema Theory / Bem Sex Role Inventory Sandra Bem
Fassinger’s Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Development (1996) Individual Sexual Identity Group Membership identity - Awareness - - Awareness - Perceiving oneself as difference from other of the existence of people with different people sexual orientations - Exploration - - Exploration -One begins to actively investigate feelings of of individual relationship to the gay and/or attraction for individuals (or a particular lesbian community person) of the same sex - Deepening/Commitment - - Deepening/Commitment - Individuals make a personal commitment to One’s sense of self as gay or lesbian is the lesbian and gay community and accept strengthened, and one’s sexual identity the potentially negative consequences of becomes more secure and internalized being part of this group - Internalization / Synthesis - - Internalization -One’s sexual identity becomes a part of one’s of a minority group identity across contexts overall identity
D’Augelli’s Life Span Model of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Development (1994)The Coming out process is affected by three factors… Personal Actions and Subjectivities Individual’s perceptions and feelings about their sexual identities Actual sexual behaviors and the meanings attached to them Interactive Intimacies The influences of family, peer group, and intimate partnerships The meanings attached to experiences with significant others Sociohistorical Connections Social norms, policies, and laws found in various geographical periods
D’Augelli’s Life Span Model of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Development (1994) The Identity Development Process: 6 Interactive Processes (not stages) Exiting Heterosexual Identity - Requires recognition that one’s feelings and attractions are not heterosexual - - Telling others that one is lesbian, gay, or bisexual - Developing a Personal Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Identity Status - Involves determining for oneself the unique meaning of being gay, lesbian, or bisexual will have in one’s life - Developing a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Social Identity - Creating a support network of people who know and accept one’s sexual orientation - Becoming a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Offspring- Disclosing one’s identity to parents and redefining one’s relationship after such disclosure - Developing a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Intimacy Status - Difficult, due to relative invisibility of lesbian and gay couples in society - Entering a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Community - Making varying degrees of commitment to social and political action -
Exiting a traditionally gendered identity Recognizing that one is gender variant, attaching a label to this identity, and affirming oneself as gender variant through coming out to others Developing a personal transgender identityAchieving the stability that comes from knowing oneself in relation to other transgender people and challenging internalized transphobia Developing a transgender social identity Creating a support network of people who know and accept that one is gender variant Becoming a transgender offspring Coming out as transgender to family members and reevalauting relationships that may be disrupted by this disclosure Developing a transgender intimacy status Creating intimate physical and emotional relationships Entering a transgender community Making a commitment to political and social action through challenging transphobia and genderism
Cultural Considerations& Limitations The Identity Development of LGBTQ College Students
Application to Student Affairs Practice Policies that Support student needs; Resources readily available; Targeted Programming; The Inclusion of LGBT topics in curriculum; Faculty and staff who are willing to act as advocates and role models; Active Interventions; Themed, special interest, or gender-neutral housing; Inclusive, supportive, warm and welcoming campus culture; Creation of a climate that promotes learning LGBTQ Policy and the development of identities; Networks / Communities (Safe Zone Programs)
College Girl • Natalie had more confidence at the end ofPg. 310 – the book. Why?“The big question remained:If I didn’t want noncommittal • How did she think others perceived her?hookups and I was done with men, • Was she ever comfortable with her ownthen what did I want?” sexuality? • Did she engage in sexual acts for acceptancePg. 319 – and/or to fit into a gender role?“It was never about the guy.It was never about the sex. • It took her the entire book to “find herself” and become comfortable with her body.It was never about love.” What helped her develop her identity? What was it about? • Did social expectations depict how she acted? What did Natalie want? • What role did Patrick play in her identity development? What about… Jack? Jacob? Sasha? Gwen? Faith?